COA uses opinion to clarify sentence claims

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The Indiana Court of Appeals used a defendant's appeal today to clarify that inappropriate sentence claims and abuse of discretion claims are to be analyzed separately.

David King's appeal of his sentence following a guilty plea to dealing cocaine as a Class B felony in David King v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0802-CR-162, prompted authoring Judge Nancy Vaidik to explain inappropriate sentence and abuse of discretion claims are to be analyzed separately. King's inappropriate sentence argument also had references to the abuse of discretion standard.

Because not-for-publication opinions are showing other attorneys are making this mistake, the appellate court wanted to use this opinion to clarify that an inappropriate sentence analysis doesn't involve an argument that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing the defendant, Judge Vaidik wrote.

Appellate courts may revise a sentence if it is found to be inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and character of the offender. The location of where a sentence is to be served is reviewable by the appellate court, but isn't subject to a review for abuse of discretion, she continued.

In the instant case, King, who was ordered to serve six years at the Department of Correction, alleges he should have been allowed to serve his time in community corrections or "at least be given the benefit of the mental health evaluation and treatment he clearly needs," but he doesn't detail the treatment. At his sentencing hearing, the trial court noted King claimed to have multiple personality disorder, a diagnosis he made himself.

His counsel failed to present evidence of what type of treatment King allegedly needs and was confused about King's diagnosis. The attorney requested placement with a mental health component, but didn't specify that component, wrote Judge Vaidik. And, King received his medication while in jail awaiting sentencing. Because of this evidence, King failed to persuade the appellate court his placement with the DOC was inappropriate.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.